Show hidden devices in Device Manager

Yesterday I started to play with Hyper-V and SCVMM 2008. I added two hosts and also imported one virtual hard disk (with Windows Server 2003 SP2) to see if a .vhd created by Virtual Server 2005 SP1 works well in Hyper-V.

I noticed that I do not have an internet connection, actually there wasn’t any network adapters installed although I’m sure I had one. I installed Integration Services and it installed Microsoft Virtual Machine Bus Network Adapter. Ok, good. Looks like it doesn’t have the IP address set up. When I tried to configure the adapter, the following error occurred: “The IP address <ip address> you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter…”

As I did not have any network adapter prior to installing Integration Services, I opened Device Manager and checked Show hidden devices from the View menu. The result: no Intel 21140-Based… adapter there. Nothing wrong here, this is by design. Installed devices that are not connected to the computer (i.e. USB device) are not displayed in Device Manager, even with Show hidden devices enabled.

So, in order to uninstall the old network adapter (Intel 21140-Based… in my case) do the following:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. At a command prompt, type the following command , and then press ENTER:
    • set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  3. Type the following command a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
    • start devmgmt.msc
  4. Troubleshoot the devices and drivers in Device Manager.NOTE: Click Show hidden devices on the View menu in Device Manager before you can see devices that are not connected to the computer.
  5. When you finish troubleshooting, close Device Manager.
  6. Type exit at the command prompt.Note that when you close the command prompt window, Window clears the devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1 variable that you set in step 2 and prevents ghosted devices from being displayed when you click Show hidden devices.

There is a KB article about this. Although the article applies to Windows XP only, the solution worked very well on Windows Server 2003.